Friday, April 27, 2007

One Hundred Eighty-second Pope: Urban IV - 0 comments

One of the few popes to come from humble backgrounds, Urban IV was born Jacques Pantaleon to a French cobbler. He studied theology and law, rose through the ranks of the church, and for a while held the troubled position of Patriarch of Jerusalem. (If you're keeping track, you'll remember that at this point the Holy Land is controlled by the Muslim Saracens, and at least two crusades have failed to reestablish control).

His return to Italy coincided with Alexander's death, and Urban was elected in his stead. He spent most of his three-year reign working out shaky peaces with the European monarchs.


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